Hopefully, you’re reading this simply to be informed and be prepared if it ever happens, but if you’re on this article because you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving for the first time, know that it’s not the end of the world. Getting arrested for the first time can be nerve-wracking, more so, if you have no idea as to what happens next. As such, we’ll be taking a look at what happens when one’s arrested for their first DUI offense:
First-offense drunk driving is a criminal offense, specifically a misdemeanor. And as with all criminal offenses, you’ll be arrested, placed in a police vehicle, then processed at the nearest jail or police station. In some states, you’ll be released as soon as someone pays for your bail and brings you home. Around this point, you’d want to contact your local lawyer (or law firm) of choice in Provo, preferably one that specializes in DUI or criminal defense law who would help evaluate your case, look for evidence the help your case get dismissed, and even negotiate to minimize the punishment if you’re ever found guilty.
Be Scheduled to Appear in Court
During your arrest, you’ll be provided with a ticket or summons instructing you to appear in court for your DUI charge on a specific date, time, and location. It’s important that you are present in the court on the said date as missing your court date can have dire consequences.
Say Goodbye to Your Driver’s License
Whether or not you have a lawyer, and regardless of your criminal or driving history, you’ll have to expect to lose your driving privileges for some time. In fact, many states allow law enforcement to confiscate and suspend DUI suspects on the spot after failing a field sobriety test or record a Blood Alcohol Level that’s beyond the legal limit. Some states may provide a hardship license, allowing you to drive to work or school during the period wherein your license is suspended, but there are still restrictions in your driving privileges.
Pay A Fine
Once convicted, you’ll have to serve a sentence and pay a fine which varies per state. Each state has a minimum and maximum fine and sentence for drunk driving, which can increase due to other circumstances such as endangering a child, damaging private or public property, or injuring someone while driving drunk.
Go To Jail
Yes, it sounds anxiety-inducing, but you will have to expect jail time even if you’re a first-time offender. Generally, first-time offenders get a day or two of jail time — which is still jail time, but this can be enhanced due to other circumstances (such as those stated above) or if there are other charges on top of the DUI. If you have an attorney specializing in DUI or criminal defense law representing you after your DUI incident in Provo, the sentence and fees may be negotiated.
Complete Your Probation
Whether or not you are sentenced to jail after your DUI conviction, you’ll be given a probation sentence: a set of probationary terms set by the sentencing judge that you have to adhere to avoid getting sent (back) to jail.
Get Your License Back
You may need to take a course or program on drunk driving education, but, eventually, you’ll be able to get your license back. However, you’ll have to expect more expensive car insurance premiums due to this incident.
Getting arrested for your first DUI can indeed be a very stressful situation, but if you know what to expect, it could be a bit more manageable, and you’ll be able to focus more on what to do next.